Appeals Court Endorses Ruling

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A Choctaw County man, accused in the death of a baby that may have never existed, could be closer to freedom, an appeals court today refused to reconsider its decision to throw out his guilty plea in the child's death.

The Alabama State Appeals Court has let stand its decision throwing out the guilty plea of Medell Banks in the death of a newborn baby in 1997.

Choctaw County District Attorney Robert Keahey said Friday's ruling by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals was expected and will be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.

The appeals court last month ordered the guilty plea of Medell Banks thrown out, with three judges saying in written opinions that "a manifest injustice has occurred in this case."

Banks, along with his estranged wife, Victoria Banks, and her sister, Dianne Tucker, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for the death of Victoria Banks' newborn baby. Tucker was released from prison July 17 after serving one year of a 15-year sentence, which was changed partly because of the new medical evidence.

Banks refused the same deal and continued to press his appeal to withdraw his guilty plea. He is still in jail at this time.